Planted By God to Display His Glory -Isaiah 61:3

Posts tagged ‘Christian women’

Re-written in Red Ink: Jesus is the Game Changer

Sharing a devotion at Internet Cafe co-written with my daughter:

Much of my life over the last three years has been written in black ink…a dark script of pain, sorrow, loss and loneliness.

And yet, every day and every word of darkness God has edited, rewritten, crossed out, and written over in red ink.

Because…

Red-inked words of life rewritten over the black-inked script of our lives.

A truth so beautifully captured in a story my daughter wrote when she was just sixteen:


Checkers

Imagine an intense checkers game.

You’re the red pieces…and your opponent smiles menacingly as he sets up his black pieces. You start out feeling very confident, thinking that this game will be a breeze. But as the game goes on, red pieces start disappearing and black kings seem to be everywhere you try to go. Eventually the board is totally void of red pieces…except for one.

One tiny, pathetic little piece is cornered by all the black kings. Sweat pours down your face and you think that there is no way you could ever beat your opponent. On the other hand, he’s sitting across from you with glinting eyes and a devilish smile, showing confidence that makes you feel like he could jump up and smash you into the ground.

But then a shadow falls across the board. You both look up, and see a man standing there with a smile on his face. A patch on his shirt says “All-Time Checkers Champion, 33AD.” You look over at your opponent, only to see that his face has gone white. The man gently places his hand on your shoulder and says, “Well, how’s the game going?”  

“Not so well…” You reply. “I’m going to lose.”

The man quickly scans over the board and then looks back at you. “Doesn’t look too bad to me. Anyway, this isn’t your game…”

To read the rest of the devotion at Internet Cafe click here.

©Linda Crawford 2012, all rights reserved

coloring life beautiful…

With fear and trembling, I’ve started a new website and blog. This is the first “official” post.
Over time, I will transition from this blog to the new one, and I hope you will continue to share the journey with me there!
God’s been doing amazing things in my life since I started sharing here, turning bad days and lost dreams into beauty and hope…like only He can...

coloring life beautiful

My journal led me here…to coloring life beautiful.
I went looking for a holy experience of beauty in the midst of suffering, and found it…
Beauty Moments

My beauty moment—recognizing that to see the world through a child’s eyes is such a gift. But when the child is gone…and I no longer experience those moments naturally each day…how can I re-discover them again? How can I see life as new every day?

If I put on my child eyes…what did I see today that was new and beautiful?

Hmmm…my first thought is “me.” What a great place to start God. I never would have thought of that, but of course you would!

Click here to read the rest of the post at Linda-Crawford.net

May the Lord color your life beautiful today,

©Linda Crawford 2012, all rights reserved

How I Impressed the Grocery Bagging Guy

I’m sharing a fun story at Internet Cafe Devotions today!

I’m like most women I see at the grocery store—I shop alone.

I plan our family meals, take stock of the bare cupboards, and venture solo to the mega store where, list in hand, I methodically hunt down and gather our food each week. It’s exhausting work doing it alone. Reaching, bending, lifting, carrying, and loading all those groceries into and out of that cart (and later into and out of the car and finally into the cupboards) is a workout!

I’m convinced the reason many women wear sweatpants to the grocery store is because they know how much they are going to sweat!

A few years ago I hurt my shoulder and had to go solo to the store with my left arm in a sling. I soon realized I could never pass the straight-line-cart-driving-sobriety test steering with only one hand, and the more items I put in, the worse it got. Weaving around the store, I became more and more frustrated and less and less in control of my cart. Then it dawned on me that I was going to have to load and unload everything with one hand too. I quickly pared down my list to the necessities and carefully maneuvered my way to the checkout.

I had unloaded about a third of my cart onto the revolving belt before the pleasant young man behind the bagging station offered to help. They usually don’t offer to help me, so I knew one of three things must be true—either I looked like I needed help because of the sling, he saw me drunk-driving my cart, or, more than likely, my slow, one at a time unloading was holding up the sighing impatient line of customers behind me. Usually fiercely independent on grocery shopping treks, this time I was embarrassed and grateful for the help…

Click here to read the rest of the story at Internet Cafe Devotions to discover how an arm injury, a Homecoming dance and a grocery clerk helped me get an important message from God!

Linda CrawfordHave a sunny-side up day!

~Linda

© 2012, Linda Crawford, Sunny Side Up, all rights reserved.

Spend Yourself: How Helping Others Can Help You

Sharing at Internet Cafe Devotions today!

…if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. Isaiah 58:10 NIV


Helping OthersThis scripture hit me over the head like a two-by-four about ten years ago.
 I was grieving the recent loss of a dear family member and adjusting to a 6,000 mile move back to the U.S. after three years living abroad…then September 11, 2001 happened.

It was too much grief to bear and the darkness of it closed in upon me. To make matters worse, there was no “rewind” button to jump back into the friendships and church community I had left three years before. Things were different, I was different, and my old friends had moved on.

Except for the immediate family of my husband and daughter, I was desperately alone, and in emotional pain the likes of which I never imagined possible to live through.

I clung to my Bible for comfort to help me rest through the darkest hours of night and ransacked the pages during the day, desperately looking for crumbs of hope to live on.

It was on one of those desperate searches one day I found more than a crumb to live on—I found an endless feast of truth in Isaiah 58.

IF you spend yourself, THEN the light will enter your darkness…

Click here to read the rest of my story.

Have a blessed day spending away!  🙂

~Linda

Rewind 1 Year: Bad Days Happen

Bad Days Happen

(This was originally posted on February 8, 2011, and it’s an amazing thing that God led me back to it tonight, February 8, 2012. Tomorrow I am going in for knee surgery, another step toward my healing from the injury that has sidetracked my life for 2 1/2 years now. I needed to read this tonight. I need to keep my perspective on the right things–the things of God. May it bless you today, whether it’s your first or second time reading it. Tomorrow’s going to be a good day, I just know it!)

I had a good day last week. Followed by a bad day. Followed by a moderately bad day, which was followed by a moderately good day. None of which were caused by my choice to quit caffeine last week.

This is just how I rate my life these days. Good, bad, and the moderate ones in-between. It’s become a habit, and another one (like the caffeine) that I’d like to break. But it’s tough, because I’ve been at it for over a year now, ever since that one very bad day happened.

Have you experienced one of those? I bet you have, and whatever your story is, I pray for you…because I know the pain. Literally. For me it’s been coping with unrelenting physical pain, but I know for others it can be unrelenting emotional pain. And so we rate our days: good, bad, and in-between…

On the good days I will call you and chat and maybe even go to the movies. On the bad days you won’t see or hear from me. Only my family sees, but I even try to hide the pain from them. So they won’t start rating their days good or bad based upon mine.

What really got me thinking about how I rate my days was an article I read last week by my favorite writer called 8 ½ Steps to Make it Through the Moderately-Worst Day of Your Life. It made me laugh but also gave me a good dose of God’s grace and hope:

“Even on days when absolutely nothing is going your way, and you watched your toast walk off the plate and jump to the ground butter-side-down, there is something you can control. You. Your outlook, your attitude and your level of optimism.” 

Yup, I can control me. I can control what I choose to focus on and what I choose to believe. And when I make the right choices my best days are the ones when God gets the attention instead of the pain:

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” Matthew 6:34 (The Message)

“Give my attention to what God is doing right now”…right now. Today, this moment, and every moment, pain or no pain, God is working in me. Working good things. Things that can only be formed in the heat of the furnace of my pain. And I’m a better person because of that.

So I won’t give up. And neither should you:

“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (The Message)

Not a day goes by… I’m going to endeavor to stop rating my days good or bad based on my pain, and instead rate them all good based on God’s unending grace and love, and His promise for the blessings of my future. Besides, as my favorite author says:

“Bad days happen, but after they are over–that’s just it. They are over. Don’t give a bad day more recognition than it deserves, because it doesn’t deserve any. Stupid bad days.”

Stupid bad days indeed.

Have a good day!   🙂

                   -Linda

By the way, in case you were wondering, my favorite author happens to be Sarah Elizabeth Crawford. Who, in addition to ministering to her Mom, speaks to teen girls through her articles in SUSIE magazine. And you betcha I think she is great!

Copyright Linda Crawford, Sunny Side Up (not scrambled) 2012. All rights reserved.

The Red Shoe Revolution Has Begun!

Why red shoes?

They help me share real life, real love, and real hope with you because Jesus gave me my red shoes, and they set me free to be who God created me to be!

If you’ve been following this blog for the last year, you’ve read about my red shoes and how much they mean to me.

So why a red shoe revolution?

Once I started sharing my red shoe story, an amazing thing happened! First my daughter bought a pair of red shoes, then as more women read my story, or heard me share it, they were inspired to get their own red shoes! Now God’s using my little story to inspire girls and women across North America (and who knows where else) to put on their red shoes and step out in faith too!

It’s a revolution of sharing the love of Jesus with the world!

It’s not just about my story, it’s about sharing YOUR stories, so we can keep encouraging one another to step out in faith.

Amanda’s story is the first to be shared, and already (after one day) it’s been read by hundreds all over the world!

I’ve shared an excerpt here, but I hope you’ll click over to the red shoe revolution site to read her full story and then send in your own to share! Somebody needs to see YOUR red shoes! 🙂

Amanda’s Story

(Amanda is a red shoe sister from California. Her story is written by her Mom, Debbie Walker and was first shared on their church’s girls like me blog.)

I want to share with you a journey my daughter Amanda has been on since September of last year.  To those of you who don’t know Amanda, she is vibrant, talkative, bold, has a beautiful singing voice and a beautiful smile to match.  She sings occasionally on our worship team and people are naturally drawn to her.

This past September, the day before my wonderful granddaughter Selah was born; Amanda was afflicted with a condition known as Bell’s palsy.  Bell’s palsy is the result of a virus that attacks the nerves which are connected to the facial muscles.  It affects only one side of the face.  What that means is Amanda has been unable to smile, has had a difficult time talking, eating and even doing one of her favorite things … singing.

When it comes to this particular condition, science really doesn’t know a lot about it. The thing they do know is that it comes on suddenly; it seems to be connected to stress and that in about 85% of people it goes away just as mysteriously as it came.  The healing in most victims seems to progress gradually. Typically individuals have a complete recovery within three months.

In Amanda’s case, weeks were going by and she had no movement and no signs of any change.  She felt ugly.  She didn’t want to be around people.  She wanted to hide.  And she certainly didn’t want to sing.  She cried a lot of tears…

Click here to read the rest of Amanda’s story.

Share your story by sending it to: theredshoerevolution@gmail.com

~Linda

A New Adventure: Do It Afraid

In my last post I shared that I was ready for the new adventures God had for me this year…and now I’m headed off on one!

I’ve started a new blog titled “Do It Afraid.”

Do It Afraid is the message God has been trying to teach me all my life, but I only figured it out a year ago! It’s a little embarrassing to admit that I’ve been that slow to catch on (yes, I hit the side of my head with my right palm and exclaimed “I could have had a V-8”), but I’m so grateful for the healing that God is working in my life as a result of him giving me my “aha” moment.

Today I’ve put up my first post on the Do It Afraid site and I hope you’ll take the time to join me there and read a little more of my journey walking out of a life of fear and stepping forward in faith. I’ll still be sharing here at sunny side up, trying to keep the lighter side perspective on life, but I hope you are also blessed by the deeper sharing on Do It Afraid.

Here is an excerpt of today’s post: The Faces of Fear: Shame

Click here or on the photo to read more.

Shame.

 It’s a face of fear that I’m afraid to even talk about.

I’m afraid because I’ll have to make myself vulnerable to you, and share how painful and destructive shame has been in my own life.

I’d rather hide, like Adam and Eve in the garden, than show you the nakedness of my imperfections.

I’d rather live with my pretty make up on, so you never see the mask of shame that lies hidden just below.

But I’m going to share, because the fear of shame has ruled my life for far too long and hiding it was little by little killing me off inside.

The problem is, God did not create me to hide from life, he created me to live life to the fullest. Hiding from God and from you, living life constantly wearing make-up, trying to be perfect at everything, is incredibly painful. And destructive.

Because the face of the fear of shame is driven by perfectionism.

Research in human behavior confirms that perfectionism can lead us down the path of depression, anxiety, addiction and life paralysis:

“Perfectionism is a self-destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, live perfectly, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment and blame.” –Brene Brown

We know it’s true, but why are we women so consumed with trying to be perfect? And why is it so difficult for us to admit that we live and act out of our feelings of shame? That we are constantly battling the voice in our head that tells us we are not good enough?

…To keep reading click here.

Thanks for sharing the adventure with me!

~Linda

Have you read about my red shoes yet? Join the red shoe revolution and step out in faith to spread the love of Jesus!

Copyright 2012, Linda Crawford, sunny side up. All right reserved.

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